Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry?
Hello, World! Let me quickly introduce myself. My name is Samaira and I am 9 years old and I go to Elementary School in Silicon Valley, California. The way I got into the Toy and Game industry was when I thought how do I get kids faces off the screen, but still teach them how to code. So then I thought the only other way to do that was to create a board game.
My story starts out one day in the summer after first grade, I was playing board games with my family, I had a huge stack of board games, and I won most of them! So my parents got bored and stopped playing. So I went to the computer to do some coding. Immediately I had this weirdly awesome idea! What if I make a board game that teaches kids to code! Wow! That was a big thought! I told my parents my idea, and they were very surprised! Their mouths were wide open! They told me I could do it! I was so happy! My journey had just begun! I started to think of the name of my game while looking at my bunny and got the name Coderbunnyz! And so with the help of my parents and graphic designers from all over the world I brought my imaginations to life. It took many mail exchanges from the graphic designers, but we finally did it! Now I am giving workshops at libraries, schools, tech events.
What trends do you see in toys or games that excite or worry you?
The thing that excites me is when the whole family or friends sit together to play board games and learn something new and while having a lot of fun. And what worries me is that every kid is on screen these days.
What advice can you give to inventors who are presenting new toy or game ideas to you?
My advice would be for all my fellow inventors is to continue to explore, observe and ask questions. Logical thinking and problem solving are very important and that’s something that we do every day. Your first idea may be completely off and ridiculed but don’t be discouraged. When I made my first board game (no details disclosed here), people were saying, what is that? That’s too easy. Why do you need a board game for that? I didn’t stop or got de-motivated and I continued and make the next one that is one of the most loved board games in coding now.
What was your favorite toy or game as a child?
My favorite game as a kid is Monopoly. I enjoyed the game because my whole family used to play. I love the fact that we could learn concepts of real-estate playing this game. Perhaps it may help me prepare for the future. It may help me budget my money while I’m able to learn investing strategies.
What inspires you?
The response and support I get when I present in front of thousands of people about "How to help bridge the gender gap in technology" is something that inspires me.
Besides that, little things - like seeing the smile on kids faces after they play my game or when some person in my school or at conferences comes up to me and asks, “Did you create Coder Bunnyz?”, also are a great source of inspiration to me and my work.
Where were you born?
I was born in San Jose, California.
Where did you grow up and how did that influence who you are today?
I grew up in Silicon Valley and that has influenced me in my life because Silicon Valley is the place for entrepreneurship and inventors. So a lot of people who live in Silicon Valley inspired me.
What do you read every day, and why?
I love to read! I usually read every day. When I read I like to read books from the famous “Roald Dahl” series. I just finished the book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and now I’m reading “Charlie and the great glass elevator”. I read every day because I really enjoy each story. I think it's important to read because it improves your vocabulary and knowledge.
What is your favorite gadget, app or piece of software that helps you every day?
My computer helps me every day because it helps me practice my coding and other important things.
When is the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
I laugh a lot! There are probably many times I’ve laughed out loud! But for now, I’ll tell you my last time. My last time was when my family was playing a game called “Try not to laugh” where one person is the person that the other people have to make laugh. So when it was my turn, everybody was staring at me and I started laughing really hard. It was so hard to take them seriously and I just couldn’t resist it!